Beacon Hill Roll Call: Dec. 6 to Dec. 10, 2021

  • Two PV Squared workers install solar panels on a local rooftop. The Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy held a virtual hearing on legislation that would require all new buildings to be constructed to be able to accommodate rooftop solar panels and requires the solar panels to be installed on new buildings at the time of construction, including single-family homes, apartment buildings and commercial buildings. File Photo

Published: 12/16/2021 4:48:53 PM
Modified: 12/16/2021 4:48:19 PM

There were no roll calls in the House or Senate last week. This week, Beacon Hill Roll Call reports on the percentage of times local representatives voted with their party’s leadership in the 2021 session. No more roll calls are planned in the House until January 2022.

The votes of the 2021 membership of 28 Republicans were compared with those of GOP House Minority Leader Brad Jones, R-North Reading. The votes of the 2021 membership of 128 Democrats were compared to House Speaker Ron Mariano, D-Quincy. Beacon Hill Roll Call uses 90 votes from the 2021 House session as the basis for this report. This includes all roll calls that were not quorum calls or votes on local issues.

Democrats

A total of 100 (78.1 percent) of the 128 Democrats voted with Mariano 100 percent of the time. That means that nearly four-fifths of the Democrats always voted with Mariano. Another 14 Democrats (10.9 percent) voted against Mariano only once. Only four Democrats (3.1 percent) voted with Mariano less than 90 percent of the time.

The Democratic representative who voted the lowest percentage of times with Mariano is Rep. Erika Uyterhoeven, D-Somerville, who voted with Mariano only 84.2 percent of the time. She is followed by Reps. Mike Connolly, D-Cambridge, 85.5 percent; Rep. Colleen Garry, D-Dracut, 87.6 percent; Tami Gouveia, D-Acton, 89.7 percent; and Nika Elugardo, D-Jamaica Plain, 92.2 percent.

Republicans

None of the 28 GOP members voted with Jones 100 percent of the time. Twenty Republicans (71.4 percent) voted with Jones at least 90 percent of the time. Eight Republicans (28.5 percent) voted with Jones less than 90 percent of the time.

The Republican representative who voted the lowest percentage of times with Jones was Rep. Joseph McKenna, R-Webster, who voted with Jones only 85.5 percent of the time. He is followed by Reps. Peter Durant, R-Spencer, 86.6 percent; Nick Boldyga, R-Southwick, 87.6 percent; Alyson Sullivan, R-Abington, 87.6 percent; and Marc Lombardo, R-Billerica, 87.7 percent.

Representatives’ support of party leadership

The percentage next to the representative’s name represents the percentage of times her or she supported his or her party’s leadership in 2021. The number in parentheses represents the number of times he or she opposed his or her party’s leadership.

Some representatives voted on all 90 roll call votes. Others missed one or more roll calls. The percentage for each representative is calculated based on the number of roll calls on which he or she voted and does not count the roll calls for which he or she was absent.

Rep. Natalie Blais — 100 percent (0)

Rep. Paul Mark — 100 percent (0)

Rep. Susannah Whipps — 96.4 percent (3)*

* Whipps, U-Athol, is unenrolled and not affiliated with either the Republican or Democratic party. We based her voting record on how many times she voted with House Speaker Ron Mariano.

Also up on Beacon Hill Require all newly constructed buildings to be ‘solar ready’ (H 3278)

The Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy held a virtual hearing on legislation that would require all new buildings to be constructed to be able to accommodate rooftop solar panels and requires the solar panels to be installed on new buildings at the time of construction, including single-family homes, apartment buildings and commercial buildings. Buildings may be exempted from solar roof requirements if the roof is too shaded, if a solar hot water system or other renewable energy technology is installed or if the building has a green roof.

“Our legislation represents an important step in the transition away from dirty fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy,” said Rep. Mike Connolly, D-Cambridge. “Combating climate change will require robust solutions and the mobilization of all of our resources … in taking this necessary step forward for the planet.”

Statute of limitations (H 1617)

The Judiciary Committee held a virtual hearing on a bill that would eliminate the current 43-year statute of limitations for criminal claims by a victim of child indecent assault and battery or rape. Current law requires victims to report the crime within 27 years of turning 16.

Sponsor Rep. Ken Gordon, D-Bedford, said the measure would ensure that victims have a longer time to seek justice for the crimes committed against them.

“Oftentimes, victims of child sexual assault and battery or rape do not realize that the assault took place or choose not to report their assaults until later in life,” Gordon said.

Domestic abuse in front of a child (H 1685)

Also heard by the Judiciary Committee was a measure that would create a new crime of assault and battery if it takes place in a domestic violence setting in the presence of a child under the age of 16. The measure imposes up to a five-year prison sentence and/or $5,000 fine on violators. Current law for assault and battery is up to a 2.5-year prison sentence and/or $1,000 fine.

“Children who grow up in an environment where they are continuously exposed to incidents of adult domestic violence are more likely to display heightened levels of depression, anxiety and aggression,” said House Republican Minority Leader Rep. Brad Jones, R-North Reading. “This age group represents some of the most vulnerable members of our society and we need to do everything we can to protect them.”

Prohibit unrelated Level 3 sex offenders from living together (H 1680)

Another measure before the Judiciary Committee that was also filed by Rep. Jones would prohibit Level 3 sex offenders, unless they are legally related, from “renting, residing or otherwise occupying a single-family dwelling or a unit in a multi-family dwelling with another Level 3 sex offender.”

“I first filed this bill in 2015, after being contacted by the North Reading Police Department and several constituents who were concerned about two Level 3 offenders who were living together in town,” Jones said. Because Level 3 offenders are considered most likely to reoffend, my primary concern in filing this legislation was to help protect the victims of these heinous crimes, and to prevent others from being victimized.”

Mandatory diaper changing stations (H 262/S 143)

The Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities held a virtual hearing on legislation that would require public buildings and places of public accommodation to provide a private or semi-private diaper changing station accessible to all caretakers of children, regardless of sex, gender or disability. The requirement would apply only to new construction of public buildings or places of public accommodation and those undergoing significant renovation. Signs indicating the location of the diaper changing station must be posted at or near the entrance of a facility.

“All parents and caregivers in our commonwealth should be able to change their children’s diapers in a safe, sanitary and accessible setting, regardless of gender or ability,” said Senate sponsor Sen. Becca Rausch, D-Needham. “This is a short and simple bill that will solve a big problem for parents and make a real difference to Bay Staters and visitors alike.”

“This crucial legislation will expand caregivers’ access to diaper changing stations across the commonwealth,” noted House sponsor Rep. Steve Owens, D-Watertown. “As a father who has experienced difficulty in finding changing stations for my own children, I’m proud to sponsor this bill.”

Diaper bank (S 125)

Also heard by the Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities was a measure that would create a pilot trial program for organizations such as food pantries to create a diaper bank or distribution center to distribute diapers to families in need.

“Families, now more than ever, are in need of diapers,” said sponsor Sen. Joan Lovely, D-Salem. “The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated issues across our commonwealth, placing additional strains on families already struggling to afford basic necessities, including diapers. … This public health issue is necessary to keep children healthy and help keep parents employed. Our babies and families deserve better and this legislation takes a direct approach to addressing this far-reaching issue.”


Jobs



Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Greenfield Recorder, keeping Franklin County informed since 1792.


Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261
 

 

Copyright © 2021 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy